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Chinese civilization originated in various city-states along the Yellow River valley in the Neolithic era. Turtle shells with ancient Chinese writing from the Shang Dynasty have been carbon dated to as early as 1500 BCE. The origins of Chinese culture, literature and philosophy, developed during the Zhou Dynasty (1045BCE to 256 BCE) that followed the Shang.
China has had the longest lasting dynasty and spans the period in which the written script evolved from ancient oracle script to the beginnings of modern Chinese writing.The feudal Zhou Dynasty eventually broke apart into individual city states, creating the Warring States period. In 221 BCE, Qin Shi Huang united the various warring kingdoms and created the first Chinese empire. Successive dynasties in Chinese history developed bureaucratic systems that enabled the Emperor of China to directly control the vast territories.
The technique was introduced to Japan during the Tang Dynasty and to Germany in the 15th century. This printing technology has helped the cultural and scientific development in Europe since the Renaissance.
The traditional Chinese culture has a long history and Confucianism basically occupies a backbone position. Confucianism has gone through various dynasties since Confucius initiated it, and has been the mainstream of Chinese ideology, politics and culture.
Generally speaking, the development of Confucianism can be divided into three phases. The first phase of Confucianism is pre-Qin Confucianism. The second phase refers to that the natural science of the Song and Ming Dynasties, which is the Confucianism formed under the impact of foreign Indian Buddhism and native born Taoism. The Confucianism under the impact of western culture since modern times is the third phase.
In the first phase of Confucianism, the representatives are Confucius, Mencius and Xunzi, whose thoughts are dominant at the initial stage of Confucianism. During this period, Confucianism took shape. In the second phase Confucianism was carried forward. It plays a positive role in transforming social traditions. In the third phase, the country gained scientific development and was founded democratically on the premise of adhering to the traditional morals and spirit of Confucianism.
Book of Songs (Shijing); Book of History (Shujing); Book of Rites (Lijing); Book of Changes (Yijing); Spring and Autumn Annals (Chunjiu); Four Books (Sishu); Analects (Lunyu); Great Learning (Daxue); Doctrine of the Mean (Zhongyong); Book of Mencius (Mengzi)
Influence on China
Confucianism, existing in China for several thousand years, still has tremendous potential influence on all the aspects such as politics and economy in China. Confucian thoughts have been the most basic mainstream value of the Chinese people through the ages. The basic values of Confucian thoughts of "rite, justice, honesty, shame, humanity, love, loyalty and filial piety" are the basic rules of consciousness for the daily conduct of most Chinese people all the time. The courteous, friendly, gentle, honest, tolerant, earnest and industrious temperament of the Chinese nation has also gradually developed under the education of Confucianism.
A Comparison between Confucianism and Buddhism
Confucianism, founded by the Chinese philosopher Confucius, belongs to a kind of philosophy, while Buddhism, founded by Siddhartha Guatama, belongs to a kind of religion. There is a difference between religion and philosophy. A religion talks about death, the afterlife and god(s) while a philosophy only talks about what one should do in life.
Chinese History Timeline
Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors
The Three Sovereigns, sometimes known as the Three August Ones, were said to be god-kings.
The Xia Dynasty of China.
Because Ji was overthrown for his selfish rule, the first ruler of the Shang Dynasty, Tang, started off with a strong, fair system of governing. The Shang Dynasty, also called the Yin Dynasty, began around 1600 BC and lasted until approximately 1100 BC. After Emperor Tang, the Shang Dynasty experienced a period of consolidation and further development until the grandson of Tang, Tai Jia, took over and treated his people poorly, breaking his own laws. The Shang Dynasty was known for divination using oracle-bone inscriptions. Being superstitious, many daily events were discovered by supernatural means, including weather, health and crop growth. The bones were also used to record activities.
West Zhou Dynasty
The Zhou Dynasty was the longest lasting dynasty in ancient Chinese history. In the early times of the previous dynasty known as the Shang Dynasty, Zhou grew stronger and stronger in what is today’s Binxian County of Shanxi Province. When Ji and later Ji Yijiu took the governance, the area enjoyed prosperity. Soon the Shang Empire was overthrown in the Muye War and the Zhou Dynasty, later called West Zhou, was founded.
Spring and Autumn Periods
From 770 BC when the family members of the West Zhou Empire moved to Luoyi in the first ruling year of Pingwang Emperor to the 44th ruling year of Jingwang Emperor in 476 BC, the history in this period generally coincides with what was recorded (from 772 BC to 481 BC) in Spring and Autumn Annals emended by Confucius. Therefore history in this period is known as Spring and Autumn.
Warring States refers to the historical period when the seven states were fighting with each other. It was an era of turmoil. During the Warring States period, the seven fighting states were in fact only the larger ones among all the states. There were still smaller states including Zhou, Lu, Wei, and Zheng, and many ethnic groups such as Hun and Donghu in the north, Baiyue in the south, and Bashu in the southwest. But later they were gradually conquered and annexed by those larger states.
After the unification of China Proper by Ying Zheng, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, the system of fiefdom was abolished. A new system of Prefecture and County was proposed by Li Si, a Chief of Councilor in the Qin Dynasty. Under the new system, the power of positioning officials was concentrated in the central empire. This helped to overcome the division of power, and to avoid the similar turmoil as that in Spring and Autumn. It adopted an assessment system, the operation of which was similar to today's annual report by officials. Furthermore, the Qin Dynasty standardized the form of writing and measurement, largely facilitating the development of social economy and culture. However, the practice of unifying all ideas, putting to death many dissenting Confucian scholars, as well as confiscating and burning their books posed serious destruction to human civilization, inhibited the development of various ideas, and gave an and end to the booming condition of "Hundred Schools of thought contended". Many emperors of later dynasties followed the similar practices as those of Ying Zheng. That largely blocked the development of ancient ideas. In order to defeat the possible invasion of Hun, the then emperor of the Qin Dynasty ordered the completion of the Great Wall on the basis of what had been built up by the Yan and Zhao Empires.
Western Han Dynasty
The Western Han Dynasty is the first stage of the Han Dynasty, lasting form 207 BC to 25 BC. In the whole Han Dynasty, the Western Han was more prosperous than other periods. Thanks to the Enlightened Governance during the reign of Emperor Wen Di and Jing Di and Rehabilitation Policy by Emperor Wu Di, the development of politics, economy, and culture entered a boom in this stage.
Eastern Han Dynasty
Compared with that of Western Dynasty, the Eastern Han Dynasty was more tyrranical. Guangwu Di, the then emperor, conducted reforms on governance and distributed more power to the Department of State Affairs. Diplomacy in the EasternHan Dynasty reached long term development. Ban Chao, a famous general, managed to persuade more than 50 countries in the west to submit to the empire of the Eastern Han Dynasty and send their hostages to worship the then emperor. At the same time, an ambassador called Gan Ying was assigned by Ban Chao to visit the Ancient Roman Empire, but unfortunately was cheated by an Arab on the road so he only reached the Mediterranean instead of his destination.
Three Kingdoms Period
At the end of Eastern Han Dynasty, the empire was seriously shaken by the Yellow Turban’s Uprising led by Zhang Jiao. Divisions of power in different places gradually broke away from the central empire and became local dominions. The three kingdoms came into being in such a situation and they were respectively Wei, Shu, and Wu.
Eastern Jin Dynasty
After the Western Jin Dynasty, Sima Shi founded a new regime known as the Eastern Jin Dynasty to the south of Yangtze River. In more than 130 years from Emperor Liu Yuan to the unification of North China, various ethnic groups in the ranks of nobles and bureaucratic landlords founded their own regimes. It was the period of Sixteen States in history.
The Southern and Northern Dynasties
During the Southern and Northern Dynasties, the economy in the south was more developed than that in other parts. That was because a large population migrated to the south to avoid the turmoil of war in the north. Therefore the labor force in the south was largely strengthened together with advanced technologies in production. It greatly promoted the growth of local economy and gave birth to many developed economic areas such as Yangzhou.
The whole Tang Dynasty comprised of two stages: the early stage and the late stage. With the An-shi Rebellion as the watershed, the early stage enjoyed prosperity while the late stage was in decline. It was Emperor Gao Zu who founded the empire, and Li Shi Min, the Tai Zong Emperor, who unified the whole of China through a ten year expedition. After the Palace Coup at Xuanwu Gate, Li Shimin ascended the throne and led feudal China into an unprecedented period of prosperity and peace. There was the famous Enlightened Administration in the Zhenguan Reign under Emperor Tai Zong of the Tang Dynasty during which politics, economy, and culture had achieved rapid progress and ranked first in the world. Later times witnessed another ruling period of stability and prosperity, and that was the Enlightened Administration in the Kaiyuan Reign under Emperor Xuan Zong by Emperor Xuan Zong. The country again boasted a strong capacity of national defense and the rich spiritual and material life of its people. Unfortunately, there happened the An-shi Rebellion, leading the Tang Dynasty to degradation. In the late stage of the Tang Dynasty, the political life of the country fell into turmoil. There were fights among eunuchs and divisions of power. Revolts of peasants broke out continuously, including the Uprising led by Huang Chao against the rule of Tang Empire. Zhu Wen, one of leaders of that uprising, later surrendered to the emperor of then Tang regime and finally overthrew it by crowning himself the new emperor. He founded the first dynasty in the period of Five Dynasties and Ten States- the Late Liang Dynasty.
Five Dynasties and Ten States
The period of the Five Dynasties and Ten States was a time of chaos. There were cruel emperors, irresponsible officials, heavy taxes, as well as fights and wars all through the years.
The Song Dynasty covered a longer time than the Tang Dynasty but exerted less influence than the Tang Dynasty. In fact, the Song Dynasty was composed of two periods: the Northern Song Dynasty and the Southern Song Dynasty. The former referred to the ruling and confronting years of Liao, Xia, and Jin, while the latter was the declining period of the empire.
The Northern Song Dynasty achieved long-term development in terms of domestic economy, foreign trade, and culture after the unification of North China. There were also Wang Anshi Reforms and New Policies proposed by Fan Zhongyan in the ruling year of Emperor Qing Li, hoping to improve the governance of the then empire. Although they failed to guarantee the long time prosperity of the Northern Song Dynasty, they successfully solved some social contradictions. However, insurgences of Fang La and Song Jiang respectively in the south and north reflected that domestic conflicts and contradictions were deepening.
When the Northern Song Dynasty was overthrown by Jin, the Southern Song Dynasty decided to settle to the south of the Yangtze River rather than unifying the north. The northern expedition by Yue Fei, a great general and master of war, was considered as a measure of consolidating the rule of the empire. The corrupted ideas and misleading policies of Jia Sidao hastened the ruin of the Southern Dynasty. Although there were upright and patriotic officials such as Wen Tianxiang who made vigorous efforts to improve the situation, the decline of the dynasty failed to be held up. The great poem of Wen Tianxiang, which can be interpreted as "Everyone must die, but let me leave a loyal heart shining in the pages of history", expressed the complicated emotions and sorrows of valiants in that period.
China was unified for the second time, laying the foundation for long term stability and unification in the Qing Dynasty. Economy and culture achieved rapid development in the Yuan Dynasty. Today’s Hui Nationality came into being at the same period. The empire of Yuan boasted a huge land area, which was the primary form of the territory of China today
The Yuan Dynasty can be divided into three stages: the early, the mid, and the late stage. The early stage began from the ruling years of Kublai Khan to that of Tiemu'er. The Yuan Empire in this stage followed the system of laws and regulations of the Han Dynasty and invented various policies on politics, economy, and culture. The early stage was the demonstration of progress. However, starting from the mid stage, the Yuan Dynasty went into decline. There were intense social conflicts, disputes for imperial power, and frequent insurgences of peasants all over the country. The Ying Zong Reform in this stage had little effect. It was just like a flash in the pan, unable to save the empire from decline. Finally the reform failed to achieve its target and its initiator, Ying Zong, died an unnatural death. From Emperor Ming Zong to Emperor Shun Di was the late stage of the Yuan Dynasty. The continuous break out of peasant insurgences hastened the ruin of the Yuan Regime. Later Zhu Yuanzhang became the peasant leader, cleared away other separatist military commissioner regimes, and founded the new dynasty— the Ming Dynasty. This was the end of the Yuan Dynasty.
Zhu Yuanzhang, Emperor Tai Zu of the Ming Dynasty, carried out reforms on various social aspects such as politics and military affairs. He won back the right of making decisions on political, military, and judicatory affairs into his hands. Therefore, the concentration of state power reached an unprecedented level which was inherited of course by the Qing Dynasty. Economic development in the early period of the Ming Dynasty recovered rapidly and soon reached its most advanced level in history. Zhu Yuanzhang therefore was remembered as an intelligent and enlightened emperor as was Emperor Wu Di in the Han Dynasty and Emperor Tai Zong in the Tang Dynasty, in feudal times.
The booming period of the Ming Dynasty happened in the ruling years of Yong Le, Emperor Cheng Zu. During these times, Admiral Zheng established diplomatic relations with the neighboring nations, and thus facilitated economic and cultural exchanges them.
However, due to eunuch tyranny, the Ming Dynasty began to decline after Emperor Ying Zong ascended the throne. The society suffered a lot from the corrupt administration of irresponsible officials and heavy taxes. Peasant insurgences broke out here and there, and national defense was very weak. In the Tumu Fortress War, Ying Zong was captured. Although he was released later, it clearly reflected the empire was in crisis. When Emperor Jia Jing ascended the throne, he appointed Zhang Ju to conduct a national reform involving politics, economy, and military force. The situation turned better for a period of time, but the cruel tyranny of Wei Zhongxian accelerated the dying out of the Ming Dynasty. At the same time, the Nuzhen of the Kingdom of Jin in Northeast China grew strong. It swept south, and overthrew the Northern Song Dynasty when the late Ming Dynasty was deeply weakened by peasant uprisings. Emperor Chong Zhen of the Ming Regime finally hung himself on Meishan Mountain near Beijing.
The Qing Dynasty was reduced to a semi-colonized and semi-feudal society after the first Opium War. Normally the history of the Qing Dynasty is divided into two stages.
The political system of the Qing Dynasty was basically inherited from the Ming Dynasty. But the central department for government affairs was the Grand Secretariat with the Chief Secretary functioning as the Grand Councilor. Six Boards were the executive organ. Later the Grand Minister of State in Privy Council received the same power of the Grand Secretariat. The Privy Council was very efficient; it reflected that the concentrated state power under emperor autarchy was strengthened.
The Qing Dynasty reached the zenith of its power during the reigns of emperors Kang Xi, Yong Zheng and Qian Long. That period was reputed as the Booing Times of Emperor Kang Xi during which Taiwan Island was returned to the Chinese motherland and rebellions were successfully pacified. Its territory was extensive and production boomed.
In the ruling period of Emperor Qian Long in the late Qing Dynasty, social contradictions and conflicts escalated together with continuous peasant uprisings. The serious malpractice of corruption by He Shen, the Grand Councilor at late the Qing Dynasty, was an epitome of imperial administration. That was the major cause to the failure of Opium War.
The Chinese compass was invented in ancient China sometime before the 2nd century, being used for navigation by the 11th century. The dry compass was invented in medieval Europe around 1300. It was supplanted in the early 20th century by the liquid-filled magnetic compass.
In pre-Qin times the Chinese had already learned the knowledge of geomagnetism. People called the magnet as the "Kind Stone" which meant "a caring mother so loved by her children". If a piece of stone has a magnetic force, it is a “kind stone”. During the Warring States Period, the first compass appeared, which was made on a piece of load. The stone was shaped like a spoon with a circular base. The magnet was placed on a flat and smooth surface. Though it could move very freely in a circular motion, it had its disadvantages. The magnetic force in the loadstone would be decreased due to the intense heat during molding, therefore, the accuracy of the apparatus was questionable.
Later, the Chinese began to implement an artificial magnetization technique, making a piece of steel become a magnet. Being put in a position that was parallel to the earth’s meridian, the burned piece of steel was very active and eventually positioned its direction according to the earth’s magnetic field. This artificial magnetization technique was a great breakthrough in making the compass. Another method was to magnetize the steel needle by friction with a piece of strong magnet.
In the Mediterranean, the introduction of the compass, at first only known as a magnetized pointer floating in a bowl of water went hand in hand with improvements in dead-reckoning methods, and the development of Portolan charts, leading to more navigation during winter months in the second half of the 13th century. While the practice from ancient times had been to curtail sea travel between October and April, due in part to the lack of dependable clear skies during the Mediterranean winter, by around 1290 the sailing season was able to start in late January or February, and end in December. The additional few months this gave were of considerable economic importance. For instance, it enabled Venetian convoys to make two round trips a year to the Levant, instead of one.
Qin Shi Huangdi: Ancestral name: Ying Clan name: Zhao or Given name: Zheng
King of the Qin state: Dates of reign:July 246 BC–221BC QinOfficial title: King of Qin
Emperor of the Qin Dynasty: Dates of reign: 221 BC–210B COfficial title: First Emperor
Division and politics
Qin Shi Huang and his Prime Minister Li Si completely abolished feudalism in an attempt to avoid a recurrence of the political chaos of the Warring States Period. He abolished the states, which prevented them from being independent nations of states. Then the the empire was divided into 36 commandership, later increasing to 40 commanderships. The system was implemented that the whole of China was divided into administrative units of firstly commanderships, then districts, then counties then hundred-family units. The system was characterized by tight alliance and federations.
Economically, Qin Shi Huang and Li Si unified China by standardizing the Chinese units of measurement, such as weights and measures, currency, and the length of the axles of carts, in an attempt to facilitate transport on roads. In order to improve trade among various regions, he developed an extensive network of roads and canals connecting the provinces. The currencies of different provinces were also standardized to the Banliang coin. Most importantly, the Chinese script was unified to form one language, and one communication system for the whole of China.
The North Great Wall
The Qin fought nomadic tribes from the north and the northwest. The campaign was essentially inconclusive, although the Xiongnu tribes were subdued. Thus, in order to prevent the Xiongnu tribes from encroaching on the northern frontier any longer, the emperor ordered the construction of an immense defensive wall. Today very few sections of the original great wall built by the first emperor survive since the original one fell into ruin centuries ago.
South: Ling Canal
A well-known quote said “The North has the Great Wall, the South has the Ling Canal”. In 214 BC, the Emperor began the construction of the canal project to transport supplies to the army. The 34km canal, linking the Xiang River which flows into the Yangtze river, and the Li River which flows into the Pearl River, allowed water transport between north and south China. The construction is one of the three great feats of Chinese engineering, the other two being the Great Wall and the Sichuan Dujiangyan Irrigation System.
The End of the Hundred Schools of Thought
The previous Warring States era was considered the golden age of free thought due to the existence of various states. After the unification of China, Qin Shi Huang eliminated the Hundred Schools of Thought, then legalism became the endorsed ideology of the Qin dynasty. Legalism required people to follow the laws or be punished accordingly.
The Book Burning period
Beginning in 213 BC, Qin Shi Huang ordered most previously existing books burned. Those owning the Book of Songs and Book of History as well as texts of the hundred schools were severely punished. Some 460 scholars were buried alive in the following years.
After the unification, Qin Shi Huang moved out of Xianyang Palace and began building the gigantic Epang Palace which is located by the south of the Wei River. Other achievements, such as the 12 Bronze Colossi, were made from collected weapons.
|"Huang Di", a title addressed by people in ancient times, originated from "San Huang and Wu Di" which means three emperors and five monarchs. The three emperors refer to the Emperor of Heaven, Emperor of Earth, and Emperor of Human Beings.They are three leading figures in an ancient legend. "Di" in "Five Di" here refers to the ruler of everything in the universe.He has supreme power and is called Tian Di, one of the five monarchs mentioned above. Later the chaos of war broke out among different countries who honored themselves respectively as Xi Di (Monarch in the West), Dong Di (Monarch in the East), Zhong Di (Monarch in the Middle), and Bei Di (Monarch in the North).|
|Therefore the title "Di" in the legend came to the world, and became the divine address of a king. Some people say "Di" refers to Huang Di, Yan Di and Chi Yao.
When Ying Zheng, the founder of the Qin Dynasty, unified the whole country, he considered himself to be one who made a larger contribution than "San Huang and Wu Di", the three emperors and five monarchs, and thus honored himself with a combined title of "Hung and Di", namely, Huang Di. After that, the emperor of each dynasty was addressed as Hung Di.
One of the earliest European references to gunpowder is found in Roger Bacon's “Epistola de secretis operibus artiis et naturae” from 1267. However, the very first time gunpowder was used in the Western world for military purposes was in 1262, when king Alfonso X of Castile set siege to the city of Niebla in Spain, whose Spanish-Arab inhabitants used some sort of primitive gun against the Spaniards. The 15th through 17th century saw widespread development in gunpowder technology, mainly in Europe. Advances in metallurgy led to portable weapons and the development of hand-held firearms such as muskets. Cannon technology in Europe gradually outpaced that of China and these technological improvements transferred back to China through Jesuit missionaries who were put in charge of cannon manufacture by the late Ming and early Qing emperors.
Leshan Grand Buddha
The Leshan Grand Buddha is at the foot of the Lingyun Mountain to the east of Leshan City and at the confluence of the Minjiang River, the Qingyijiang River and the Dadu River, in Sichuan province. It has been listed in the World's Heritage Records by UNESCO. The Grand Buddha is the largest stone-carved statue of Buddha in the world. It is 71 m in total height, 28 m in the width of the shoulder, 14.7 m in the height of the head, 7 m in the length of the ears and 5.6 m in the length of the nose. The space in the ear can hold two standing people and the instep can seat more than 100 people around it.
The 108-metre-high Guanyin Buddha Statue of Hainan, the world's tallest, was enshrined on April 24, 2005, with the participation of 108 eminent monks from various Buddhist groups in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and Mainland China, and tens of thousands of pilgrims. The delegation also included monks from the Theravada and Vajrayana traditions.
Buddhism is tacitly supported by the government. China is one of the countries which has many of the world's highest Buddhist statues. In April 2006, China organized the World Buddhist Forum and in March 2007, the government banned mining on Buddhist sacred mountains. In May of the same year, in Changzhou, the world's tallest pagoda was built and opened. In March 2008, the Taiwan-based Tzu Chi Foundation was approved to open a branch in mainland China.
Wu Zetian (personal name Wu Zhao) often referred to as Tian Hou during the Tang Dynasty and Empress Consort Wu in later times,was the only woman in the history of China to assume the title of Empress Regnant. As de facto ruler of China first through her husband and her sons from 665 to 690, not unprecedented in Chinese history, she then broke all precedents when she founded her own dynasty in 690, the Zhou, and ruled personally under the name Sacred and Divine Empress Regnant and variations thereof from 690 to 705.
Her rise and reign has been criticized harshly by Confucian historians but has been viewed under a different light after the 1950s. Although short-lived, the Zhou Dynasty, according to some historians, resulted in better equality between the sexes during the succeeding Tang Dynasty. Considering the events of her life, literary allusions to Wu Zetian can carry several connotations: a woman who has inappropriately overstepped her bounds, the hypocrisy of preaching compassion while simultaneously engaging in a pattern of corrupt and vicious behavior, and ruling by pulling strings in the background. For many centuries, Wu was used by the Chinese establishment as an example of what can go wrong when a woman is placed in charge.
Around 698, Wu Chengsi and another nephew of Wu Zetian's, Wu Sansi the Prince of Liang, were repeatedly making attempts to have officials persuade Wu Zetian to create one of them crown prince -- again citing the reason that an emperor should pass the throne to someone of the same clan. However, Di Renjie, who by now had become a trusted chancellor, was firmly against the idea and instead proposed that Li Zhe be recalled. He was supported in this by fellow chancellors Wang Fangqing and Wang Jishan, as well as Wu Zetian's close advisor Ji Xu, who further persuaded the Zhang brothers to support the idea as well. In spring 698, Wu Zetian agreed and recalled Li Zhe from exile. Soon, Li Dan offered to yield the crown prince position to Li Zhe, and Wu Zetian created Li Zhe crown prince, and soon changed his name back to Li Xian and then Wu Xian.
Meanwhile, as per the peace treaty with Eastern Tujue, Wu Zetian sent her grandnephew Wu Yanxiu to Eastern Tujue to marry one of Ashina Mochuo's daughters -- but Ashina Mochuo had no actual intention to cement the treaty with a marriage; instead, when Wu Yanxiu arrived, he detained Wu Yanxiu and then launched a major attack on Zhou, advancing as far south as Zhao Prefecture before withdrawing. In 699, however, at least the Tufan threat would cease. The Tufan king, Dus-rong Mang-po-rje, unhappy that Lun Qinling was monopolizing power, took an opportunity, when Lun Qinling was away from the capital Lhasa, to slaughter Lun Qinling's associates. He then defeated Lun Qinling in battle, and Lun Qinling committed suicide. Lun Zanpo and Lun Qinling's son Lun Gongren surrendered to Zhou. After this, Tufan was under internal turmoil for several years, and there was peace for Zhou on the Tufan border.
Also in 699, Wu Zetian, realizing that she was growing old, feared that after her death, Li Xian and the Wu clan princes would not be able to have peace with each other, and she made him, Li Dan, Princess Taiping, Princess Taiping's second husband Wu Youji (a nephew of hers) the Prince of Ding, as well as other Wu clan princes, swear an oath to each other.
Inheriting a China wrought with social and institutional woes left over from the devastating Cultural Revolution and other mass political movements of the Mao era, Deng was the core of the second generation Chinese leadership. He was instrumental in introducing a new brand of socialist thinking, having developed Socialism with Chinese characteristics and Chinese economic reform (also known as the socialist market economy) and partially opened China to the global market. He is generally credited with advancing China into becoming one of the fastest growing economies in the world and vastly raising the standard of living. For this achievement he is sometimes known as "The Venerated Deng".
Economic Reforms and Opening Up
The new, pragmatic leadership after Mao emphasized economic development and renounced mass political movements. At the pivotal Third Plenum of the 11th CCP Congress, opened on 22 December 1978, the leadership adopted economic reform policies known as the Four Modernizations. These tenets aimed at expanding rural income and incentives, encouraging experiments in enterprise autonomy, reducing central planning, and establishing direct foreign investment in Mainland China. The Plenum also decided to accelerate the pace of legal reform, culminating in the passage of several new legal codes by the National People's Congress in June 1979.
The goals of Deng's reforms were summed up by the Four Modernizations: the modernization of agriculture, industry, science and technology, as well as the military. The strategy for achieving these aims, all of which were designed to help China become a modern, industrial nation, was "socialism with Chinese characteristics". It opened a new era in Chinese history known as "Reforms and Opening Up to the Outside World.”
Deng championed the idea of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), areas where foreign investment would be allowed to pour in without strict government restraint and regulations, running on a basically capitalist system. Deng laid emphasis on light industry as a stepping stone to the development of heavy industries. Supporters of the economic reforms point to the rapid development of the consumer and export sectors of the economy, the creation of an urban middle class that now constitutes 15% of the population, higher living standards (which is shown via dramatic increases in GDP per capita, consumer spending, life expectancy, literacy rate, and total grain output) and a much wider range of personal rights and freedoms for average Chinese as evidence of the success of the reforms.